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2016 Year in Review

2016 Year in Review

Wow. 2016 was the biggest year yet for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Thanks for everyone who made it possible, and here’s to even more progress 2017!

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Please don’t forget to donate to keep us going!


Safer Speed Limits for Seattle

Sixty years ago, Seattle’s streets were radically remade with the goal of moving vehicles as quickly as possible: sidewalks were narrowed, crosswalk beg buttons installed, an extensive streetcar system dismantled, low income homes bulldozed for roads, and speed limits increased. Ever since we have been paying dearly for these mistakes.

Today there were 30 crashes on Seattle’s streets. Same with yesterday, tomorrow, and every day on average. Every year 150 people suffer life altering injuries and 20 are killed from these crashes. Each serious injury and fatality is a story of tragedy for individuals, families, friends, and communities.

speed-limit-end-of-year-collageOne day, Brie Gyncild had had enough. Brie lives in the Central District, walks everywhere, loves cats, deeply cares about her community, and is a passionate advocate who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. At the annual meeting where our grassroots neighborhood group leaders set our priorities, Brie reminded us all that Vision Zero isn’t just a goal to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030, it’s a commitment to transform our streets into safe places for people. She persuaded us that the next step was safer speed limits.

One person can spark a movement. Because of Brie, in 2016 Seattle Neighborhood Greenways mobilized people just like you throughout the city to build support for safer speed limits by talking to their neighbors, community groups, and local business owners. By the end of the year 22 groups had sent the Mayor and City Council letters of support, dozens people testified to City Council, and hundreds who emailed or called in their support.

Our advocates continued to build positive support until the Mayor and City Council voted proposed and unanimously approved safer speed limits. Now all 2,400 miles of Seattle’s non-arterial streets are designated for 20 MPH, and all of Downtown’s streets have been designated for 25 MPH.

The story isn’t over yet. We all know that designating new speed limits isn’t enough – we must design our streets to be safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. That’s why in 2017 one of our priorities is to increase funding for the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero safety program. This is only one piece of the puzzle, another piece is you.

Please donate to keep us going, and join with our amazing volunteers as we work to make our streets safe and comfortable for all people.  

Thank you,

Cathy Tuttle and Gordon Padelford
Executive Director and Policy Director

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Low Income Schools Set Safety Priorities

We all want our children to be able to safely walk or bike to school. Unfortunately, there is limited funding for engineering safety improvements at all of our schools. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) interns Ranju Uezono and Raymond Pacheco led SNG outreach to very low income schools in 2016 to help prioritize spending in ways that were meaningful and effective to local communities.

20-is-plenty-at-rainier-view

SNG also worked with historically underserved school communities to develop a set of ideas, translated into 6 languages, of Low Cost Ideas for SDOT Mini Grants. Schools are now working on crossing flag programs, school patrols, walking audits, and other inexpensive but highly effective programs.

safe-routes-spanish

The SNG staff and interns also hosted assemblies, led walk audits, and met with parents and school staff to create a prioritized list of the investments that local people felt was most needed most to get their children to school safely. All of this work helped to shape the major projects being built with Move Seattle Levy funding by Seattle Department of Transportation at Seattle’s low income schools.

kids-breakfast

Read more about the SNG Safe Routes to School 2016 priority program here.

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Making the Case for Complete Streets

Roosevelt

Roosevelt Way was not easy for people to cross

In 2016 we advocated for policy and street projects that create safe access for all people.

On the policy side we worked to ensure that Seattle’s Comprehensive Master Plan (the highest level plan the city has), Right of Way Improvement Manaul (blue prints for street design), and other policies and plans supported complete streets.

After years of advocacy work by University Greenways we finally celebrated the opening of the Roosevelt Way complete street project. Originally SDOT planned to only repave the

Families open the Roosevelt Way Complete Street

Families open the Roosevelt Way Complete Street project. Photo by SBB

dangerous street, but we successfully advocated to include safety upgrades for people walking and biking. The biggest change you’ll see on the street if you visit is the new protected bike lane, curb bulbs to make it easier to walk across the street, and more happy families getting to where they need to go safetly.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, along with our local groups and partners, have been advocating for multimodal corridor projects to fund walking and biking improvements – not just transit. We worked on the Roosevelt-Downtown corridor and Madison BRT projects in 2016, and we will continue to make sure these and other projects truly work for everyone in 2017.

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 9 Highlights from West Seattle and the Duwamish Valley (District 1)

  1. The Duwamish Valley Safe Streets group got up and running! The Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition now has a fantastic group of committed neighbors and advocates in South Park and Georgetown.
    duwamish-valley-safe-streets
  2. The Duwamish Valley Safe Streets group helped shape the Georgetown Open Space Plan.
  3. Local group West Seattle Bike Connections successfully advocated for SDOT to begin working on a neighborhood greenway paralleling 35th Ave SW.
    35th-ave-sw-parallel-neighborhood-greenway
  4. West Seattle saw the completion of the Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway, and SNG conducted an audit work to fix some of the remaining issues.
  5. West Seattle won a Neighborhood Streets Fund grant for major improvements at the key intersection of SW Spokane St/ Alki Trail/ Harbor Ave SW/ SW Avalon Way.
    west seattle avalon harbor spokane st entrance NPSF
  6. West Seattle Bike Connections hosted a bike rodeo at Summer Parkways and helped host the Disaster Relief Trials.
  7. The SW Admiral Way safety project on the west side, including buffered bike lanes, new cross walks, narrower traffic lanes, and radar speed feedback signs was completed.
    west-seattle-admiral-way-bike-lanes
  8. West Seattle Bike Connections successfully campaigned to get full funding for the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project added to the 2017 budget. This project will make this currently dangerous corridor a safer place for people walking, biking, taking transit, and driving.
  9. West Seattle Bike Connections successfully campaigned to repair a problematic hazard spot on the Duwamish Trail.
    bicyclist-must-dismount-west-seattle
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Building the Base for Big Change in Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill (District 2)

Thanks to you we achieved three major wins in 2016 in Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill: full funding for the expansion of the Rainier Ave Safety project to Rainier Beach, acceleration Accessible Mt Baker, and funding to improve the Beacon Hill Town Center.

Fix Rainier Ave28446877014_832558fda3_k-760x507
Rainier Ave S has been Seattle’s most dangerous street for years. Rainier Valley Greenways worked for the second year in a row to make Rainier Ave S safe for people to walk and bike along and across. We sought to expand the safety corridor project, create safe crossings and build protected bike lanes from Hillman City to Columbia City.

A year after the implementation in Hillman and Columbia City, the data shows the Rainier Ave Safety Corridor Project is working: injuries for people walking and biking are down 41%, top end speeding is down 50% northbound and 84% southbound, and transit travel times haven’t changed southbound and have improved northbound.

But we knew there was more to be done. All neighborhoods in Rainier Valley deserve a safer Rainier Ave S, not just Columbia and Hillman City. That’s why we rallied with other neighborhood groups from Friends of Mt Baker Town Center to Rainier Beach Merchants Association to extend the safety corridor project. Thanks to your help, we successfully worked with Bruce Harrell to get a million dollars added for the project to the City’s budget!

Accessible Mt Baker

We worked with the Friends of Mt Baker Town Center and the Mt Baker Hub Business Association to successfully accelerate funding for the exciting community building and safety project, Accessible Mt Baker. Accessible Mt Baker will fix this nasty and dangerous intersection. It will make it easier to catch the bus, bike to downtown, and walk across the street to the light rail station or high school.

accessible-mt-baker

 

Beacon Hill Town Center

beacon-hill-painted-curb-bulb

Beacon Hill Safe Streets got interim safety improvements in front of the library and transit station

Beacon Hill Safe Streets successfully advocated this year to improve the heart of North Beacon Hill. They worked with the Beacon Hill Merchants Association and the community to get the city to implement near term pedestrian safety improvements (the new curb bulbs by the library), create a transportation plan in 2017. Their efforts will make it safer to catch transit, easier to walk and bike to the library and stores, and create a thriving and accessible town center for all.

north-beacon-hill-town-center-concept

Beacon Hill Town Center concept

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8 Steps Forward for Capitol Hill, the Central District, and Madison Valley (District 3)

Thank you to everyone who helped our local groups take so many steps forward this year! We couldn’t have done it without everyone who volunteered for Central Seattle Greenways, Madison Greenways, or the First Hill Improvement Association. We hope you will continue to support this important work 2017, but first let’s reflect on what we accomplished together:

  1. Our proposed Columbia Neighborhood Greenway was built this year, providing an east-west connectivity in the Central District.
    columbia-greenway-sdot-map
  2. Thanks to our auditing and advocacy SDOT is planning to improve the Central North-South Neighborhood Greenway – such as smoothing jarring speed humps, correcting signs, and connecting it successfully to Montlake where it currently dead ends.
  3. Central Seattle Greenways worked with the cool community at Bailey Gatzert to win safe routes to school improvements. The curb bulb and stop sign change at 14th & Washington will make it much safer.
    bailey-gatzert-nsf
  4. The First Hill Improvement Association worked with a developer to include building and maintaining a public plaza Pavement To Parks project.

    Photo by SDOT

    Photo by SDOT

  5. Central Seattle Greenways won a grant to improve the crossing near the light rail station at 10th & John.
    10th-and-john-before-shot 10th-and-john-nsf
  6. Central Seattle Greenways own a grant to make it easier to walk across John/Thomas St. all from Broadway to 23rd Ave!
  7. Madison Park Greenways won grants for outreach and design for neighborhood greenways in Madison Valley.
    lake-washington-loop-greenway-map-sdot
  8. The Melrose Promenade, which Central Seattle Greenways helped get started, won funding from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

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Two Dads Take on I-5 Safety (District 4)

Two dads from NE Seattle Greenways have joined forces to make crossing I-5 safer for all (the SNG 2016 Priority for District 4).

Andres Salomon and Scott Cooper were awarded Northeast District Council support during the Neighborhood Park & Street Fund process in 2016.

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Andres and Scott know crossing i-5 is important for people of all ages walking to and from Green Lake Elementary, grocery stores, senior housing, Roosevelt High School, local business districts, and many other other important community assets. Andres and Scott know these community connections will become even more important when light rail opens in Roosevelt in 2021.

In addition to support from NE District Council, Andres and Scott have successfully lobbied WSDOT and SDOT to consider safety improvements over and under I-5 that use paint and posts to control traffic speeds.

More safe and dignified I-5 crossings in 2017 are being planned by the coalition that includes NE Seattle Greenways and neighbors who want to #Fix65th.

Find more details of their ideas here.

Thank you Scott and Andres

Roosevelt crossing map

Roosevelt crossing problem

Roosevelt crossing solution

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Making Connections Across North Seattle (District 5)

Lee Bruch from Licton Haller Greenways gathered a coalition of people from Greenwood Phinney Greenways, Aurora Licton Urban Village and other community groups that wanted to make sure 1600 kids had a safe way to walk to the new Robert Eagle Staff school opening in 2017. Their campaign center around safe routes to school along N 90th and 92nd Streets.

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Lee and his team did walking and biking audits, gave presentations to local councils, and reached out to neighbors. They found sympathetic staff at the Washington Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Seattle Public Schools who shared their vision.

eagle-staff-graphic

Licton-Haller Greenwood Phinney Greenways received both a Neighborhood Park & Street Fund and Neighborhood Street Fund award for their work. Their hard work resulted in more than $1 million for street improvements including a signal on Aurora Avenue North.
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In 2017, the coalition of District 5 safe streets groups is turning their attention to getting funding for safer routes to the new transit stations opening soon in Northgate, 130th N and 145th N. Stay tuned!

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Progress For NW Seattle (District 6)

In 2015 and 2016, Ballard Greenways made safer routes to school along 6th Ave NW their highest priority. Students at four elementary schools — Pacific Crest, West Woodland, Greenwood and St. John’s — would benefit from a north-south route on the eastern side of Ballard.safe-routes-to-school-along-6th-ave-nw

West Woodland neighbors led policy walks, talked to City staff and elected officials, and tried to get Neighborhood Park & Street funding for their safer route to schools.

6th-ave-nw-walking-audit

In 2015, Ballard Greenways leader, dad, and Alta Design & Planning landscape architect Chris Saleeba took a slightly different approach. He worked with a group of neighbors and business owners on a Tactical Urbanism project to let people in Ballard experience a safer route to local schools. Chris’s design won the first PARKing Day Plus Design Competition award and neighbors got to see a safer crossing at 6th Ave NW and NW 65th.

2nd Prize Winner 6th NW & NW 65th Street Crossing

2nd Prize Winner 6th NW & NW 65th Street Crossing

This year, Chris has been helping Seattle Department of Transportation to build this clever protected intersection permanently in the West Woodland Ballard neighborhood.

ballard-parking-day-protected-intersection

The D6 district, that also includes Greenwood-Phinney, is looking to make another protected intersection work better for people who walk and ride bikes at NW 83rd and Greenwood NW in 2017.

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7 Wins this year for Queen Anne, Uptown, and District 7

  1. Walking surges! Pedestrian commuters increased a stunning 50.2% reports the SeattleMet. And this isn’t starting from a small base: “people who walked to work went from a legit 29,070 (8.6 percent of all commuters) in 2010 to 43,665 (nearly 11 percent) in 2015.” Thank you for your work to make our streets more walkable – it’s working!
    walking-in-slu
  2. Queen Anne Greenways successfully advocated for the city to build the direct connection between the Westlake bike path and the Mercer St underpass. This connection will be built when the property that is currently owned by the city between 9th and Dexter is redeveloped. We also applied for a grant to upgrade the Roy St bike lane, but were unsuccessful this year. cascade-uptown-mercer-segment

    mercer-pbl-underpass-from-bike-blog

    Photo of Mercer St underpass by SBB

  3. The First Hill Improvement Association won a grant to make Freeway Park more accessible and welcoming.

    Freeway Park Entrances

    Freeway Park Entrances

  4. Queen Anne Greenways hosted a community building play street.
    hosted-a-play-street-2016
  5. Finally, the intersection at 7th and McGraw near Cole Elementary got some safety improvements – a wider crosswalk and curb.
    7th-and-mcgraw-widened-crosswalks-and-extended-curb
  6. We worked to make to incorporate safety improvements for people walking in the Nickerson St repaving.
  7. Last, but not least, Queen Anne Greenways continues to work with SDOT on designs to fix the scary 7-way intersection on Queen Anne.
    7-way-intersection-drawing

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Our Priorities for 2017

  • Vision Zero: Work to double the funding for the Vision Zero budget so that all our communities can get much needed safety improvements.
  • Multimodal Corridors: Collaborate with transit advocates to create walking, biking, and transit improvements for the Move Seattle multimodal corridors.
  • Tactical Urbanism: Help people make quick and bold safety improvements that build livable streets.
  • District 1: Connect Georgetown to South Park.
  • District 2: Extend the Rainier Ave Safety Corridor Project north and south.
  • District 3: Make it easier and safer to walk and bike to and from the Capitol Hill light rail station.
  • District 4: Safe and dignified crossings of I-5
  • District 5: Safe routes to transit stations from “coast to coast.”
  • District 6: Make the 83rd and Greenwood intersection, the gateway to Greenwood, safe for families to cross.
  • District 7: Safe east-west route between Uptown and South Lake Union.

Volunteer and donate to help make these priorities a reality in 2017!

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More funding for safe streets in City Budget. Thank you!

Here’s something to be thankful for today: Seattle City Council passed the final version of the 2017 budget with some fantastic improvements thanks to your support!

thank you 2016 budget advocates

Exciting budget additions include

  • $1 million to fix Rainier Ave S – the most dangerous street in the city, and an acceleration of funding for the exciting Accessible Mt Baker project.
  • Funding to create a North Beacon Hill Multimodal Transportation Study to allow much needed safety and community building projects to move forward.
  • Moving up the Bicycle Master Plan (Cascade Bicycle Club led the charge on this!) and Pedestrian Master Plan spending so we can design and build more safe streets sooner.
  • Additional funding for Safe Routes to School ($400,000 from red light cameras).
  • Directing SDOT to use best practices for streetcar & bike collision safety.
  • Other great improvements to the budget: Funding to conduct a condition assessment of Seattle’s $5.3 billion sidewalk system to support smart investments in sidewalk repairs, a new grant writer position to help SDOT leverage Move Seattle funding, and a section of sidewalk for the Meadowbrook neighborhood.

We wouldn’t have these successes without your calls, testimony, and letters! It’s caring people like you who make a difference in our world. Thank you.

If you can take a minute to thank our elected officials who listened to you, please email council@seattle.gov and thank them. Below is a sample email.

Dear Seattle City Council,

Thank you all for supporting safer streets in budget process. In particular thank you to

 

  • Council President Bruce Harrell for funding to fix Rainier Ave S, accelerate Accessible Mt Baker, and plan for a safe Beacon Hill Town Center.
  • Councilmember Lisa Herbold for finding additional funding for Safe Routes to School

 

  • Councilmember Mike O’Brien for the sidewalk assessment, SDOT grant writer, streetcar safety SLI, and accelerating the Bicycle Master Plan.
  • Councilmember Debora Juarez for a Meadowbrook sidewalk.
  • Councilmember Johnson for supporting many of these transportation budget additions.

 

Thank you for your leadership in making our streets safer for all people.

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you!

-Gordon Padelford

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Policy Director

Please consider a gift to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways if you want to support our successful, reliable, and impactful advocacy in 2017. Thank you.

Don’t Delay Downtown & Connect Our Neighborhoods

May 12, 2016

Shirley & Tim struggle to bike with their families in Seattle

Shirley & Tim struggle to bike with their families in Seattle

Just looking to help make a difference? Jump right to the call to action!

In Part 1 of our story, we left Tim wondering how to commute by bike with his baby daughter and left Shirley stranded with her children trying to cross Seattle’s most dangerous street, Rainier Ave S. In Part 2, we’ll explain how to rescue them.

The city has a good plan.

Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan is a 20-year plan (2014-2034). The plan “Proposes a network of bicycle facilities throughout the city that provides a way for people of all ages and abilities to travel by bicycle within their neighborhoods, from one neighborhood to the next, and across the city.” The plan’s performance targets include quadrupling the ridership by 2030, getting to zero traffic fatalities by 2030, and having “100% of households in Seattle within 1⁄4 mile of an all ages and abilities bicycle facility by 2035.”

Unfortunately, when it has come to implementing the bike plan, the public feels the city is falling short. Much has been written about the implementation plan already (Stranger, Bike Blog, CHSBlog, etc), but to recap why people are disappointed:

  1. The bike implementation plan pretends downtown doesn’t exist. The city makes no commitments to connect our major job center and our densest neighborhoods.
  2. Less is being built after passing the Move Seattle Levy than was originally projected before the levy was passed. This may be due to simple over-promising, but now people like Shirley and Tim are understandably disappointed.
  3. It seems that the routes which have been selected to be developed first in neighborhoods are low hanging fruit rather than the routes people need most to be able to safely get around.

So what would a robust implementation of a bike network look like?

Our city is growing fast. Our urban villages, the places our city has designated to grow the fastest, desperately need better transportation connections. We must build a network of trails, protected bike lanes, and neighborhood greenways that link our fastest growing neighborhoods together. We must provide safe, time competitive, and comfortable routes that entice people of all ages and abilities to try biking for some of their daily transportation needs.

Here’s a concept of what a connected network would look like that links all of Seattle’s Urban Villages:
Urban Village Bike Map small

We can build this. This represents about 60 miles of high quality safe routes for biking – or about the same number of miles the Move Seattle Levy promises over the next five years.

We can’t wait any longer to build a network downtown. We can’t wait any longer to build the important routes that people like Shirley and Tim need most to get between neighborhoods. Join us and the Cascade Bicycle Club in calling on the city to improve the bicycle implementation plan!

You can make a difference!

Here’s how:

Take Your Bike to Lunch Day at City Hall

What: RSVP Bring your sack lunch & your bike to City Hall at 12 p.m. Let Seattle City Council know we can’t wait longer for safe connected streets. Help fill the main 5th Avenue entrance of City Hall with your bikes and write postcards to Seattle City Council telling your stories.  
When: Tuesday, May 17 at 12 p.m.
Where: Seattle City Hall main atrium [Get Directions]

Testify At Seattle City Council

What: RSVP to testify on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Seattle City Council Transportation Committee to let Council know we can’t wait for safe streets. Cascade will help you sign up to exercise your democratic rights to speak to our elected leaders.
When: Tuesday, May 17 at 2 p.m. Arrive at 1:45 p.m. to get on the speaking list, meeting begins at 2 p.m.
Where: Seattle City Hall – Council Chamber [Get Directions]

Really fired up? RSVP now!

City Hall

See you at City Hall!

Complete Streets

Thanks for your help in 2016! Read about what you helped accomplished.

What is the problem?Roosevelt
A complete street should accommodate “safe access for all people.” Without our advocacy, major projects may be built without meaningful walking and biking improvements.

What is the solution (the 2016 priority)?
Make sure projects are complete streets by advocating on specific projects as well as policy changes.

Who is involved?
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is taking the lead on this initiative in partnership with our local groups. We are also working with Feet First and Cascade Bicycle Club on specific projects.

Campaign Updates

  • Get Involved: We could use your help! Let us know that you support this priority!
  • ROWIM: The Right of Way Improvement Manual is the cookbook that SDOT and private developers use when building or revising streets. We brought stakeholders together in a multiyear process to review and comment on the manual, so that Seattle will be at the leading edge of street design.
  • Move Seattle Levy includes complete streets: Baked into the Move Seattle Levy is language that every major project must answer how it is addressing Safe Routes to School, Vision Zero, and Race and Social Justice issues. We are now tracking the implementation of this complete streets requirement.
  • Roosevelt Way NE: University Greenways led the charge to make sure this repaving project in the University District included safety upgrades for people walking and biking. We also partnered with Feet First and Cascade. The improved project is now underway! Please support local businesses during the construction period.
  • Complete Streets Flowchart: SDOT is developing a revised way to allocate street space. We are following this process to ensure it results in good outcomes for people who walk and bike.
  • This priority builds off of the successes of our 2015 Complete Streets priority, click to see our past successes and a recap from the 2015 campaign.

Return to 2016 campaigns overview

Safe Routes to School

Thanks for your help in 2016! Read about what you helped accomplished.

6-ideas-front-pageUseful Resources:

6 Low Cost Ideas for SDOT Mini Grants in different languages! 

 

Here is more information on how to apply for SDOT’s $1000 Mini Grant for your school!

Here is more information on purchasing crossing flags and making containers!

 

Keep kids safe

What is the problem?

There is tremendous demand for safe routes for children to walk or bike to school, but limited funding.

What is the solution (the 2016 priority)?

School communities will create a prioritized list of the investments that are needed most to get their children to school safely to help give direction to SDOT. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will work with schools that are crossing-flagsslated to receive funding first from the Move Seattle Levy, which are those that have been historically underserved. Seattle

Neighborhood Greenways will also work to ensure that major projects that are being
constructed near to schools help to create a safe crossings for students to walk to school.

Help PTSAs to prioritize investments needed for children to get to school safely. We will engage first with historically underserved schools. join us!

Who is involved?

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is leading on this issue in Seattle and we will partner with our local groups, Parent Teacher Student Associations, and the SDOT Safe Routes to School Program. We are looking for opportunities to collaborate with Feet First and Cascade Bicycle Club as well.

Campaign Updatespicture

start-a-school-patrol

 

Dunlap Elementary young boy after school

Dunlap Elementary young boy after school

Go back to 2016 priorities overview

2015 Growing A Garden of Greenways

Lake City Greenways Builds Community In Olympic Hills Pocket Park

Lake City Greenways Builds Community In Olympic Hills Pocket Park

Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director
December 2015

Let me tell you a story about one person who reached out to neighbors over the past few years, and with their help – and a little help from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways – built a park, got safer routes to their local school, slowed traffic on one of Seattle’s most dangerous streets, and helped well over one hundred neighbors meet each other for the first time.

I’m talking about Janine Blaeloch, founder of Lake City Greenways, who led the effort to develop Olympic Hills Pocket Park, gathered neighbors for crosswalk actions to slow Lake City Way traffic, and helped with the Olympic Hills Safe Routes to School sidewalk project.

What is extraordinary is that I could have as easily told you this same story a dozen times and more about Greenways leaders throughout Seattle – Phyllis Porter and Deb Salls leading Rainier Avenue South road rechannelization efforts, Don Brubeck and Deb Vandermar who were instrumental in the road safety and safe intersection efforts along 35th Ave SW, leaders at University and NE Seattle Greenways who visited business owners up and down Roosevelt Way NE and helped to make protected bike lanes on Roosevelt a reality, leaders at Licton Haller and Greenwood-Phinney Greenways who are helping five local school groups plan for their Safe Routes to School priorities.
Read the rest of this entry »

#Party4OurStreets Awards

Dec 9, 2015

As a grassroots organization the energy, vitality, and strength of our organization comes from our amazing volunteers. We are so proud of their donations of time and energy this year and wowed by how much they accomplished!

shirley winning 2015

Check out the awards below for our 2015 categories:

  • Amazing Advocacy
  • Greenway Champion
  • Community Builder
  • Exemplary Street Experiment
  • Fact Finding
  • Public Servant
  • Wendy

Advocacy header

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Child-Friendly Transit

by Andres Salomon, NE Seattle Greenways

Andres and Atom travel around Seattle by bus and bike

Andres and Atom travel around Seattle by bus and bike

December 7, 2015

Seattle voters recently approved the Move Seattle levy, which contains funding for a number of exciting transit projects. Seattle’s Department of Transportation is currently planning at least two of these projects; a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line running along E Madison St, and another BRT line running from Northgate to Downtown.

Bicycles and transit go hand-in-hand, with bicycles (and bike share) helping with transit’s “last mile” problem. Transit also compliments biking, allowing people on bikes to increase their range, skip dangerous segments of roadway, bypass hills, or act as a backup option when they can’t or don’t want to ride. Unfortunately, our current public transit systems are failing families who want to bike. Even when bicycle facilities are integrated with transit, they are often designed for only certain types of bikes – non-standard bikes such as family/cargo bikes don’t fit.

If we can design our BRT and other public transit systems to be truly family-friendly, not only do we allow families to reduce or completely eliminate car ownership, but we also create a transit system that works for all ages and abilities. In order for a BRT system to be truly family-friendly, families should be able to safely and comfortable walk or bike to stations. However, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has already talked a lot about safe routes, so this will focus on BRT itself. Some of these things are more important than others, and people have different preferences, so I haven’t attempted to prioritize anything. This is simply my ideal, family-friendly BRT system.

Let’s start with waiting for the bus:

* High-frequency. Kids aren’t going to want to sit still for 30 mins while waiting for the bus, and when you have multiple kids (and a spouse), it’s pretty hard to check OneBusAway and time it right. Someone’s going to lose a shoe (or hide your keys), you’re going to leave the house and have to go back for someone’s favorite stuffed bear, or maybe everyone will be already outside and ready to go. Once you’re outside, there will be stops to look at a caterpillar, or wanting to go into a store, potty breaks, etc. You just can’t time public transit with kids. You need a bus or train that just comes regularly. Ideally, every 5 minutes. Without kids, I’m fine waiting 15 minutes while I read a book or check email. With kids, every minute is spent telling them to behave, trying to find something to keep them entertained, etc.

* Safe. The bus stop needs to feel safe. This means good lighting, a good distance away from fast-moving cars, and clean (especially no broken glass, random liquids, garbage, etc). It also means that there’s nothing capable of being broken. For 1-3 year olds, parents will have to make sure they’re not going to fall or touch anything that will hurt them. For 3-6 year olds, parents will have to keep them from breaking/destroying things or venturing out into traffic.

* Entertaining. Stops with things that keep kids (and adults) entertained are the best.
Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Get Ready For #NACTO16!

Cathy Tuttle, November 4, 2015

We passed the Move Seattle Levy!!

The future of living in Seattle suddenly seems a lot more hopeful.SNG Move Seattle volunteers

We’ll be repairing bridges, repaving roads, replacing broken signals and signs. Important as it is to maintain what we have, we passed a nearly billion dollar transportation levy because we’re ready to transform Seattle, not just to maintain it.

And what better motivation to transform Seattle than NACTO 2016?

Seattle is playing host to the “Olympics” of street engineers and activists next September when NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) comes to town. Since NACTO centers around walking and biking tours of the best each city has to offer, it is a perfect opportunity to ramp up our visible, transformational infrastructure.

Here are our four suggestions for what Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) can build by September 2016 in time for #NACTO16.Center City Network

  1. Center City Bike Network. Build it. All of it. All of the blue lines. Call it a pilot project, but get it done. Seattle’s current downtown bicycle infrastructure for All Ages and Abilities is an embarrassment. Let’s put our best lanes forward for NACTO.
  2. Rainier Ave South Protected Bike Lanes. If Shirley and Adam can build 2000 feet of protected bike lanes that are safe enough for a four-year-old to ride a bike on between Hillman City and Columbia City in one day with chalk, green butcher paper, and orange cones, SDOT can link up these two Rainier Valley communities this year in time for NACTO.
  3. Safe Routes to School. Let’s make sure we can take our NACTO visitors on walking tours where we’ve transformed the school walk zones around ten of our schools in historically underserved communities. We’ve got more than 100 School Walk Zones to improve to All Ages and Abilities standards. Let’s get to work!
  4. Roll out the green carpet in South Lake Union. Of course NACTO officials will want to see the beating economic heart of Seattle. Let’s make sure South Lake Union is accessible for people who walk and bike. Westlake Cycletrack is likely to be nearly complete by 2016. South Lake Union needs to connect east, west and to downtown. Can we actually show off a walking / bicycle network that knits the city together?Murray SRTS

Our local Seattle Neighborhood Greenways groups and volunteers worked hard to get the Move Seattle Levy passed. Thank you voters!

Our challenge now is to SDOT and the Mayor: We’re inviting the neighbors over to see our streets. Let’s get Seattle ready for ‪#‎NACTO16‬Now it is time get to work to quickly transform Seattle into a safe, healthy, equitable city where people can safely walk, roll, and bike.

 

Rainier Beach HS Students Demand Safe Routes to School

Rainier Beach High School Transit Riders Union 10-22-15 event

Rainier Beach High School Transit Riders Union 10-22-15 event

We support Rainier Beach High School students and the Transit Riders Union in their request to help ALL students to a safe route to school.

To date, our city has failed to provide safe healthy streets for students who need to walk or bike to school. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways supporters would prefer students have a healthy option of walking and biking to school. We see free Orca passes and yellow safety crossing flags as a stopgap measure until Seattle uses Move Seattle Levy monies to complete and connected grid of healthy safe streets for all ages and abilities throughout Seattle.

Community support event for Orca passes is next Thursday, October 22, 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Rainier Beach High School in the Performing Arts Center. Guests include Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Bruce Harrell. Transit Riders Union petition in support.

From the event Facebook Page

Join students, teachers, staff, parents, and community members for an evening of interactive storytelling and collective action! Help us call upon our elected representatives on the City Council, Mayor Murray, and the Seattle School Board to fund bus passes for ALL public school students who need Metro to get to school.

Currently, only students who live more than two miles (as the crow flies) from their school are eligible for a free ORCA pass subsidized by the school district. Not only is four or more miles a long way to walk to and from school, often there is no safe route to walk, due to dangerous traffic or neighborhoods.

Since 2011, Metro fares for youth have risen from $0.75 to $1.25 and now to $1.50, or $54 for a monthly pass. This is not affordable for low-income families. It’s time for our city to provide free transportation for all students to get to school!

This summer, as part of a six week program of the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools, 130 Rainier Valley scholars ages 5-18 organized a march between Seattle Public Schools Headquarters and City Hall, where they rallied and raised awareness about the issue of inequitable transportation in their community. Calling the walk zone policy “inequitable,” students mobilized alongside community members saying that for many students, especially those experiencing poverty, this policy “creates a barrier to getting to school, and therefore a barrier to their education.”

This Town Hall event will be held at Rainier Beach High School in the Performing Arts Center on Thursday, October 22, 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Guests include Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Bruce Harrell. Hope to see you there!

Please sign TRU’s petition as well: http://transitriders.org/free-orca-passes-for-public-school-students/

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